For Americans this is especially important.
Though the Canadian constitution refers to "Indians", the terms "indian" and "eskimo" are considered pejorative. Accepted terms are "First Nations" and "Inuit"
Remember that when you are shopping the tax is not included in the price so don't bother couting the correct change before you buy something as you pay the tax at the checkout.
Remember to add on the tax before you buy something because you think it is cheap. You may change your mind after the 14 per cent taxes are added on. In BC the regional tax is 7 % and the national taxes make up the other 7%. I think in Alberta taxes are already added on or there is no regional tax.
This tip also appears on my Tofino and Vancouver Island pages, and I don’t normally repeat tips but I’m including it here too as you really can’t be too careful around bears.
Also, I’ve realised on re-reading my diary that I was wrong to say on those pages that we’d seen no bears on the mainland of British Columbia – we spotted one on our first day, beside the road in Manning Park. However we were in the car, and unlike when we were on the island, all our camera equipment was in the boot, so no photos :(
A leaflet I picked up while in BC sets out the “Bear Basics”:
~ Keep your distance, and never approach a bear
~Avoid eye contact
~ Face forward – never turn your back on a bear
~ Talk to the bear if he’s noticed you (the leaflet adds “in a soothing voice” but I’m not sure I’d be able to manage that as soothed is the last thing I’d feel in that situation!)
~ Be quiet, if the bear hasn’t noticed you
~ Make yourself look big, e.g. by waving your arms around
We also read some “helpful” advice about playing dead – apparently this is a good tactic if the bear has just eaten, but a very bad one if he’s hungry. Nowhere did I see any advice on how to tell a hungry bear from a full one!
It's important to beware of bears on any hikes you do . This warning is not to be taken too lightly..The Ministry of environment warns ..."Bears may be encountered throughout the parks during the summer months.Food-conditioned bears lose their natural fear of humans and become a threat to park visitors as they roam through the park in search of an easy meal. Bears are not tame, gentle or cuddly; they are unpredictable and potentially dangerous.
" In BC there are Black Bears and Grizzly Bears.
Traveling in BC provides many opportunities to spot wildlife, more so if you venture out of the Lower Mainland and up into the sparsely populated areas of the province. There are hundreds of species of animals living throughout the province, ranging from the unexciting (think pheasants and squirrels) to the magnificent. On any given day in BC, you could witness bears, moose, elk, deer, cougars, whales, dolphins, porcupines and other fabulous and interesting animals.
Here is your warning: THESE ARE WILD ANIMALS. Wild animals may be habituated to humans, but it is never a good idea to approach a wild animal. Stay back at least 50 yards from elk, moose and deer, and 100 yards from bears, cougars, coyotes and wolves. You would do well to stay in your car if you are driving. If you are hiking and you encounter a wild animal, give them a wide berth or turn around and go back the way you came. Don't feed wild animals. This makes them associate human beings with food which is dangerous for visitors who come after you.
If you do see a wild animal, make sure you take lots of pictures and enjoy the experience. Keep in mind, however, that the cute little bear is not nearly as cuddly as you may think.
Outhouses are toilets, along the road, at trails or at campgrounds... They don't have running water, mostly no lights and if your lucky they do have toiletpaper. Basicly it's just a hole in the ground...
Take your own toiletpaper with you just in case. If you have to go after dark, bring your flashlight. What's even better is if you have one of those minning-head-lights, this way your hands are free...
Only go if you realy need to... But remember the next toilet or outhouse could take 30 minutes
Hiking is one of the most wonderfull things you can do in Canada. But make sure you know what to do in case of a wildlife encounter!! In my case, I would have been a lot more relaxed if I had know what to do when I stood face-to-face with that black bear... (see my BC intro page)
In the inside passage waters, there is a phenomenon that occurs with the tides and currents between the islands. They are rapids that occur in relationship to tidal changes, currents and cold fresh water melt off. The combination creates rapids that can be 4 - 17 knots. Sail boats and trawlers must heed to the slack tide in order to pass through these areas. The farther north you go, the greater the gravitational pull on the tidal effects and the greater the rapids. 100 ft ships have been lost to these rapids.
Look without over hyping the place, here is my opinion...
Every city has its sketchy areas. you just have to use basic common sence. So with that said...
I personally wouldnt be around this area in the night.
During the day, I dont see a problem. Just stay alert and be cautious.
These visious little creatures are the only unfriendly thing to come out of Canada! Where ever you are in the world AVOID Canadian geese at all cost they DO and WILL bite and chase you!
This is not a joke! Don't go anywhere near them!
I'm not sure about the rest of British Columbia, but when in Vancouver, I've discovered the locals simply do not know how to drive. If you don't go at least 15 miles over the speed limit, they will run all over you. Not to mention, they have a tendency to be very impatient, especially when you try to be a safe and careful driver. My only advice to you, is to continue being safe. Don't let rude people ruin your vacation.
When in Vancouver, especially if you are from the US, be sure to lock your belongings in your trunk. There have been a series of smash and grab thefts reported within Vancouver. This is especially true for those vehicles that have US plates on them, so be careful.
In the years i have been visiting this province, usually for camping, i have never had a bad run in with a wild animal but .. You must make sure you are aware this is bear country! There are also wolves and a few other animals you would not want to run into. If camping make sure that your food is either locked in the car ( with the windows shut!) or hung up a tree. Some places will provide bear proof bins to store food. The bears will smell the food and come for some dinner. Some also seem to like beer so lock it up. Do not bring anything that smells into the tent. This includes gum, drinks (except water), shampoo, soap ir anything else with any sort of sent like food. You cant stop every smeel because your clothes will smell like food but you can do your best. This is not something anyone has to be terified about if they take precautions.
Summertime is forest fire time in BC. Last year, we had 100s of huge forest fires, and several of them threatened communities all over the province (100 Mile House, Kelowna, Barriere/McLure, Cache Creek, etc.). In my hometown, we housed 100s of evacuees, and were surrounded by smoke and fire.
If you are planning on travelling to BC during the summer, check ahead with the Gov't of BC's website. They usually have good travel and road advisories relevant to forest fire activity. Forest fires closed down several major roads last year, including the Yellowhead highway between Jasper and Kamloops, and also parts of the #1 from Calgary to Kamloops.
Also, if you have any respiratory problems, please be aware that some areas can be very smoky. Those of us who don't have respiratory problems can be affected by this, so please be careful.
British Columbia is a beautiful province, with many vistas and charming towns for you to explore. Travelling BC, you will see giant mountains, rolling plateaus, rainforests, and much more. The downside to these extremes in environment is the accompanying extremes in weather.
For those of you travelling in summer, be aware that in many mountain passes, snow is still a serious possibility. If you are hitchhiking, or driving yourself, make sure to always carry enough cash to stop over in a motel if the weather gets weird on you.
If you are daring enough to travel in winter (many of the views are worth it), make sure that you have a reliable form of transportation. If you are driving yourself, make sure that your vehicle is in top shape and has good tires. If you are sticking to the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island, all-season tires should suffice. If you plan to venture away from Vancouver, equip your car with some good winter tires.
No matter what time of year you travel, check ahead for weather forecasts for your destination and the roads in between. I've travelled days where it was sunny and dry in my hometown, and an hour away in the mountains, it was dark and snowing madly, and this was in May!
A contemporary hotel located in the very cosmopolitan Yaletown. Top-notch service from a very...more
Supposedly, the Hotel Grand Pacific is one of the highest rated hotels in Canada, and at the...more
One of Whistler's newest hotels, the Four Seasons comes with the expected fine touches. Rooms are...more